21 Finest Outing From Chicago In 2024 

Welcome to the Windy City! Whether a regional or a tourist excited to check out beyond the horizon, our guide to the very best excursion from Chicago is your ticket to experience. We’ll reveal you how to switch city streets for picturesque leaves, all within a day’s reach of Chicago. From lovely villages to natural marvels, prepare to find the Midwest’s the majority of extraordinary experiences. Load your sense of experience, and let’s strike the roadway– Chicago-style excursion wait for!

Amazing Outing from Chicago

Top Day Trips from Chicago

In this guide, we offer you concepts for the leading excursion from the 3rd most populated city in the United States. Found on the coasts of Lake Michigan, numerous locations will lure you far from the town hall. After checking out all of the incredible things to do in Chicago, from the Chicago River to historical landmarks, head to these great locations situated within simple reach of the city.

The city is preferably situated with simple border-crossing into Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana. It is likewise a fantastic starting point for a field trip even more south into main Illinois. You have 4 states within your reaches– so you need to take time for a field trip while checking out.

1. Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee is a huge offer. This significant city lies on the coasts of western Lake Michigan in Wisconsin– simply a 1.5 hour train trip or drive north of Chicago. We ‘d recommend capturing the train if possible, as Milwaukee is best understood for its breweries. Taking assisted brewery trips is among the finest things to do in Milwaukee Aside from its alcohol, however, it is likewise home to the Holler Home and Milwaukee Art Museum. Do not forget the Harley-Davidson Museum, which hosts a lovely screen of motorbikes and files renowned cyclist culture. The Milwaukee Public Museum likewise has a massive European town.

If you desire a great day out of Chicago, Milwaukee is perfect. It has a strong sense of culture and numerous specific niche pockets of interest, like Harley-Davidson bikes and breweries. It is likewise a breeze to reach by train or cars and truck.

  • Range from Chicago: 1.5 hours
  • How to arrive: Train, bus or coach

Recommended Trip: A Group Trip to Discover Milwaukee

2. South Bend, IN

Day Trips from Chicago South Bend IL

South Bend has a various ambiance as a university city on the St. Joseph River. It is great if you are trying to find a more sedate city experience. You can check out the University of Notre Dame’s renowned school, with its traditional gold-domed structure. There’s likewise a lot of regional history that you can experience in the town hall, like cars and truck production from years passed at Studebaker National Museum and the local history at the History Museum.

South Bend is absolutely slower-paced than quick-footed Chicago. Nevertheless, it has great deals of destinations too. Think about it as a relaxing and intellectual location to invest a day sightseeing. It has great deals of enjoyable and trainee twists, like inexpensive bars and coffee areas.

The city lies simply east of Chicago, on the other side of Indiana Dunes National Forest, and on the lower east coast of Lake Michigan. It is finest reached by cars and truck, and we ‘d advise visiting at the national forest en path.

  • Range from Chicago: 2 to 3 hours
  • How to arrive: Vehicle or train

3. Madison, WI

Day Trips from Chicago Madison IL

Little Madison may not appear capital-worthy, however it is in fact the capital city of Wisconsin, not the significant, stretching giant of Milwaukee. This smaller sized city has gorgeous architecture galore. You can get up near the historical domed Wisconsin State Capitol and stroll the Capital City State Path to travel various city destinations. There’s a botanic garden experience, too, at Olbrich Botanical Gardens, plus a quirkier downtown location with bars and cafe. Madison is your finest option if you elegant a political sightseeing field trip from Chicago.

Madison is likewise wonderfully situated beside 2 substantial lakes– Lake Mendota and Lake Waubesa. Summer season leaves a lot of chances for water sports and bright waterside treking routes. Follow this strolling trip to see the city’s architecture consisting of the State Capitol, Der Rathskaller, Bascomb Hill, and Memorial Union.

  • Range from Chicago: 2 to 4 hours
  • How to arrive: By cars and truck or shuttle

4. Starved Rock State Park, IL

Day Trips from Chicago Starved Rock State Park IL

Starved Rock State Park is among the most popular destinations in Illinois. The park rests on the banks of the Illinois River and holds a collection of sandstone canyons in the middle of gorgeous forests. The canyons were at first cut with glacial meltwater, and you can check out the landscapes utilizing a network of plainly significant wood boardwalks. Starved Rock State Park likewise has lots of waterfalls, which get remarkably effective in wetter months.

Nature fans will love this day journey option. Not just is the natural landscapes impressive, however you can likewise find wildlife like white-tailed deer and bald eagles. Starved Rock State Park covers over 2,600 acres and has 13 miles of routes, with 18 canyons to appreciate. It lies inland from Chicago and Lake Michigan.

  • Range from Chicago: 1.5 hours
  • How to arrive: Vehicle

5. Cedarburg, WI

Cedarburg has major beauty. It has old-school-style homes and is regularly compared to a motion picture set. The town was established in the 1840s by a mix of mainly Irish and German inhabitants and is now thought about a residential area of Milwaukee. Cedarburg has numerous adorable and visual things to do, with the perk of brewery and winery trips. You can stroll the vineyards and trip developing spaces or head to distinct destinations like the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Art. Cedarburg is a genuine gem and beats to its own drum, making it a remarkable field trip from Chicago.

This Wisconsin town lies simply north of Milwaukee’s town hall. It is finest reached from Chicago by cars and truck, and you can constantly integrate a stop-off in Milwaukee’s town hall– parking in the borders and travelling in.

  • Range from Chicago: 2 hours
  • How to arrive: By cars and truck

6. Illinois Beach State Park, IL

Day Trips from Chicago Illinois Beach State Park IL

If you desire beaches, Illinois Beach State Park is the location to be on a Chicago field trip. The park covers over 4,000 acres, with a lovely coast course and network of treking routes. It is a perfect location for a beach day along the coasts of Lake Michigan. Nevertheless, Illinois Beach State Park is similarly more than simply a beach location.

It has camping areas and play grounds, plus shower blocks and a nature center. Illinois Beach State Park is someplace to invest a whole day. Start with a walking and check out the nature center before heading to Isherwood Beach, and even camping over night if your schedule enables it.

The park is rather near Chicago, taking less than an hour to reach by cars and truck. It’s a fantastic field trip if you have a warm day or fancy a beach journey. Or it is the best experience if you elegant camping a night to separate your traditional city break.

  • Range from Chicago: 1 hour
  • How to arrive: By cars and truck

7. Lake Geneva, WI

Day Trips from Chicago Lake Geneva WI

Lake Geneva is a lovely resort city along the banks of Geneva Lake in Wisconsin, northwest of Chicago. As a little city out of the leading public transportation lines, it is finest reached by cars and truck.

When you show up, you are welcomed by Gilded Age estates with remarkable architecture and a beautiful Coast Course that snakes around the city’s area of Geneva Lake. Historically, Lake Geneva was utilized as a bolt-hole for wealthy Chicago homeowners, and taking a look at the city’s surrounding natural charm, it’s simple to see why.

Admire Victorian history and Gilded Age architecture, and check out the Lake Geneva beaches. Huge Foot Beach State Park has fantastic beaches, particularly for a lazy afternoon. Lake Geneva is a lovely field trip location to loosen up before reviewing Chicago’s disorderly sightseeing scene.

  • Range from Chicago: 1.5 hours
  • How to arrive: By cars and truck

8. Rockford, IL

Day Trips from Chicago Rockford IL

Rockford is a significant city situated on the banks of the Mississippi River, providing it the label’ River City’. Rockford is likewise called the ‘Forest City’ since of its history of tree felling, forests, and furniture-making markets. It is a shapeshifter with a long history and a popular location in Illinois’ society. Nowadays, however, it is a perfect field trip prospect and has lots of popular destinations and historical locations. You can drop in the koi-filled ponds at Anderson Japanese Gardens, settle back in various public parks, or head to the Rockford Art Museum. Tinker Swiss Home Museum and Gardens is likewise fantastic.

Rockford lies in northern Illinois, right under the Wisconsin border. We ‘d advise integrating it with a journey to Madison, situated approximately an hour above the city. It is a fantastic stop-off point for those driving to the Wisconsin capital.

  • Range from Chicago: 1.5 hours
  • How to arrive: By cars and truck

9. Indiana Dunes National Forest, IN

Day Trips from Chicago Indiana Dunes National Park IN

Forget state parks if you like natural charm– goal huge with Indiana Dunes National Forest. This spectacular park is much more than simply dune and covers 15 miles of gorgeous coastline best for swimming and sunbathing. Indiana Dunes National forest is likewise a location for bird seeing and treking. The national forest lies on the southern end of Lake Michigan. It is a lovely area to check out to accept the lake’s charm. An entryway ticket expenses around $20, and you can invest the entire day checking out the park.

Indiana Dunes National forest lies simply southeast of Chicago and is preferably integrated with check outs to South Bend or excursion into Michigan or Indiana.

  • Range from Chicago: 50 minutes
  • How to arrive: By cars and truck

10. Lakeshore State Park, WI

Day Trips from Chicago Lakeshore State Park WI

Everybody enjoys a metropolitan park. This spectacular park sits simply off Milwaukee’s shoreline. Still, we will include it as a standalone tourist attraction because it validates a check out by itself benefit. Lakeshore State Park is finest checked out on foot by strolling the Hank Aaron State Path. You can take pleasure in city horizon views and extensive vistas over Lake Michigan. And if you are trying to find a romantic field trip from Chicago, head to Lakeshore State Park at sundown with a picnic.

The state park is clearly well integrated with a see to Milwaukee. This little island state park is a lovely area near the city. It is found off the Historical 3rd Ward and available by a pedestrianized bridge linking it to the mainland.

  • Range from Chicago: 1.5 hours
  • How to arrive: By cars and truck

11. Monroe, WI

Monroe is quite cool. The eccentric city is called the Swiss cheese capital. It has a large history of dairy farming that has actually offered it a huge cheese track record. You can check out to take food trips– extremely advised– and attempt regional items and produce. You need to check out the National Historic Cheese Making Center Museum and the Chalet Cheese Cooperative. There’s likewise gorgeous architecture and historical locations, like the Green County Court house, finished in 1891. The Monroe Historic Square remains in the city’s center, surrounded by stores and visual landscapes.

Monroe is a small city compared to a few of Chicago’s surrounding giants. It is approximately situated midway in between Madison and Rockford. It is absolutely best accessed by cars and truck.

  • Range from Chicago: 2 hours
  • How to arrive: By cars and truck

12. St. Joseph, MI

Day Trips from Chicago St Joseph MI

St Joseph is a beautiful seaside city in southwest Michigan and a perfect field trip if you wish to venture into MI on a day journey from Chicago. It sits along the coast of Lake Michigan with gorgeous destinations like Silver Beach County Park and Lions Park Beach. Silver Beach is especially adorable to check out, with a 1910 carousel and brought back structure that bring a fantastic, vintage-style visual to the city. A timeless red and white lighthouse is near the city’s North Pier.

St Joseph is a lovely option if you desire among those standard seaside excursion. It is just a brief drive from Chicago, in spite of the truth that you’ll be venturing through Indiana and crossing the Michigan border. Hooray for Lake Michigan’s close network of US states. It is great to integrate with Indiana Dunes National Forest and Michigan City.

  • Range from Chicago: 1.5 hours
  • How to arrive: By Cars And Truck

13. Channahon State Park, IL

Day Trips from Channahon State Park IL

Channahon State Park is an outright must. The state park rests on a few of the most historical Illinois canals, real estate a brought back lock tender’s home for additional historic worth. You can take pleasure in a network of treking routes with waterfalls, birds, and historical towpaths to snap images of. Range isn’t a problem when checking out inland Illinois; Channahon State Park is less than an hour’s drive from main Chicago. It is a fantastic field trip if you desire very little travel time and an insight into Illinois’ canal history.

You can arrange assisted trips around Channahon State Park, consisting of canoe journeys. The state park is a designated part of the Illinois and Michigan Canal National Heritage Passage. It is commonly hailed as a crucial part of the state’s history. It is a nature-given experience park.

  • Range from Chicago: 50 minutes
  • How to arrive: By cars and truck

14. Oak Park, IL

Day Trips from chicago Oak Park IL

Oak Park is a lovely town in the suburban areas of Chicago. It actually loads a punch beyond quite architecture for such a little location. Visitors can take pleasure in destinations like the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, Ernest Hemingway’s Boyhood Home, the National Historic Landmark of Mills Park and the Oak Park River Forest Museum. Oak Park is a quickfire choice of museums in a small location, available from main Chicago utilizing public transportation. What’s not to like? It is the best option if you desire journeys from Chicago done quickly.

It is so convenient to get on a train and be among lots of museums. Furthermore, its Unity Temple was just recently designated as a UNESCO World Heritage in 2019. Regardless of all its existing destinations and offerings, Oak Park is quite up and can be found in regards to visitor acknowledgment and worth for tourist.

  • Range from Chicago: 15 to 20 minutes
  • How to arrive: By train

Recommended Trip: Personal Frank Lloyd Wright Trip from Chicago

15. Grand Rapids, MI

Day Trips from chicago Grand Rapids MI

Grand Rapids is another significant city– believe high-rise buildings and a lovely riverside setting with remarkable bridges. Grand Rapids has a lot of culture, with museums like the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum and Grand Rapids Public Museum. It likewise has a cool, safe, and walkable downtown district, that includes the Grand Rapids Art Museum, a destination and effort that highlights regional artists.

We like to capture a shuttle bus to Grand Rapids, as it has a remarkable brewery history. In specific, it is understood for New Holland Developing, and you can take assisted tasting trips at the regional breweries that are still running. Otherwise, driving is quicker, and you can visit at areas like Indiana Sand Dunes National Forest, St Joseph, and South Bend. You hug the lower coastline of Lake Michigan, which is a long however extremely picturesque drive. Preferably, turn motorists and have a couple of various stops en path.

  • Range from Chicago: 3 to 5 hours
  • How to arrive: By cars and truck in simply under 3 hours or by shuttle bus in under 4
  • Recommended Trip: Grand Rapids Ghost Trip

16. Windmill Island Gardens, MI

Day Trips from chicago Windmill Island Gardens MI

Chicago may be called ‘Windy City,’ however have a look at Windmill Island Gardens. This seasonal park includes a 250-year-old windmill in an ode to the city’s Dutch impact. You can take self-guided trips of the park, appreciate the windmill, and satisfy guides in standard Dutch outfits. There’s likewise a tulip garden, which is spectacular in spring.

This is among the leading excursion from Chicago if you desire Dutch heritage, and it is even situated beyond a city called Holland. Windmill Island Gardens lies in Michigan, so you’ll be driving the south coast of Lake Michigan, cutting through northern Indiana and throughout the Michigan border. When it pertains to checking out Michigan, range can be an issue. Is it a long day of driving? Yes. However it is exceptionally picturesque and a fantastic method to integrate numerous destinations. If you have a couple of motorists, you will not have any problem as you can simply turn driving time.

  • Range from Chicago: 2.5 hours
  • How to arrive: By cars and truck

17. Galena, IL

Day Trips from chicago Galena IL

Galena is an outright gem of a lovely town, resting on the banks of the Galena River with lots of Civil War history. The town was home to the Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant, and his previous home is a State Historical Website. Obviously, Ulysses S. Grant later on ended up being a United States president, so his story is celebrated. Galena is a fantastic location to check out if you have an interest in politics and history. Its town center is fairly walkable and has lots of stories and picturesque 19th-century architecture.

Galena is right in the leading left corner of Illinois, on the border of Iowa and Wisconsin. It is a wonderful add-on from Rockford or Starved Rock State Park, around 1.5 hours away by cars and truck.

18. Michigan City, IN

Day Trips from chicago Michigan City IN

Michigan City is simply an hour away and is fantastic, available field trip product. If you desire a simple journey from Chicago, Michigan City is it. Fancy a drive? You can drive there in an hour, passing Indiana Dunes National forest. Fancy a train trip? You can check out or nap and reach the city in less than 2 hours. There’s great deals of lakeside culture and history, with several lighthouses to appreciate and the charming Washington Park Beach.

There’s likewise duration history at the Barker Estate, which showcases English-inspired decoration and home furnishings in a 19th-century estate. Appreciate the history, have a beach day, or take pleasure in urban shopping at outlet shops. Michigan City uses loads and, at least, is a modification of scene.

You can quickly check out Michigan City; correct day-long journeys are short on travel time and high up on destinations. Which summarize this lakeside city.

  • Range from Chicago: 1 to 2 hours
  • How to arrive: 1 hour by cars and truck or 2 hours by train

19. Peoria, IL

Day Trips from chicago Peoria IL

Peoria is a lovely city in Illinois. It was mostly developed as a port city and trading center thanks to its position on the Illinois River. It lies much even more inland in main Illinois. It is simply an hour or two more main than Starved Rock State Park– hi, possible combined field trip.

Peoria has gorgeous riverside parks, consisting of Peoria Riverfront Park and Liberty Park. There’s likewise the Riverfront Museum and Peoria Historic Society. It is a charming location to simply stroll and check out on foot. And the contrast in between chaotic Chicago and sedate Peoria is large, making it a beneficial field trip.

The city lies southwest of Chicago and is finest accessed by cars and truck. In this manner, you can likewise visit at Starved Rock State Park en route.

  • Range from Chicago: 2.5 hours
  • How to arrive: By cars and truck

20. 6 Flags Great America, IL

Day Trips from chicago Six Flags Great America IL

What about a day at a theme park? 6 Flags Great America is a chain of theme park spread throughout the United States. And there is one on the borders of Chicago, producing the very best field trip for fun-loving travelers. The park has water park trips, rollercoasters, and overall enjoyable home entertainment. You can get adrenaline on trips like Sky Striker or the American Eagle. Additionally, attempt the sedate, family-friendly trips like the Huge Easy Balloons or Cubasco tea cups.

Everybody enjoys an enjoyable day out. And 6 Flags Great America is the best field trip to avoid sightseeing and leave the city to take pleasure in some quality ‘enjoyable’ time. It is the perfect location to let your hair down and has an excellent variety of trips, making it ideal for grownups and kids. 6 Flags Great America lies north of Chicago, simply under the Wisconsin border. Get your tickets beforehand here.

  • Range from Chicago: 1 to 2 hours
  • How to arrive: 1 hour by cars and truck or 2 hours by train then bus

21. Glacial Park Sanctuary

Day Trips from chicago Glacial Park Conservation Area

Lastly, there’s the gorgeous Glacial Park Sanctuary. This 3,400-acre reserve is a spectacular mix of wetlands and grassy field, with glacial kames and adequate picturesque canoeing or fishing chances. It is among the most photogenic locations to experience natural charm on a day journey from Chicago. You can check out Glacial Park on foot or by water or shake things up and book a horseback riding trip. The park has a grand overall of 8 miles of shared-use routes, and you’ll absolutely wish to bring a video camera.

Glacial Park Sanctuary opens from daybreak till sundown throughout the year. It is perfect if you wish to change from the basic rural park experience to a little rugged, remote nature.

  • Range from Chicago: 1 hour and 20 minutes
  • How to arrive: By cars and truck

There’s a lot to experience on excursion from Chicago– whether that’s Dutch heritage, abundant history associated to the Civil War, or riding water park trips at 6 Flags America. You can accept small-town beauty at Oglesby, natural charm and natural marvels at Indiana Dunes National Forest, or craft beer at a regional brewery. Chicago’s area right beside 3 other state borders suggests you have great deals of variety when selecting excursion. And the ever-presence of gorgeous Lake Michigan suggests a continuous barrage of water sports and beaches. Ideally, you have at least 5 or 6 field trip options.

Are you trying to find more motivation? Why not have a look at our guides on the finest things to do in Wisconsin and the very best locations to check out in Michigan? We have actually likewise got notes on the very best, most distinct things to do in Northern Michigan particularly, so inspect that out if you have time to include a number of days to the end of your Chicago journey. If you have longer, why not take a 2-3 day trip from Chicago? It is a dazzling launchpad to find more of the experiences in the states around Lake Michigan. Chicago’s area is without a doubt its winning quality, and you need to benefit from it when preparing excursion and expeditions.

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